Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Sylvia Jen

PhD Candidate in Music Psychology

MSc, MMus, PGDip, BMus

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Leeds under the tutelage of Dr. Karen Burland and Dr. Luke Windsor. My research centres on understanding how to improve entrepreneurship education for music students in the higher education sector. In particular, I am delving into the perspectives of undergraduate music students to understand what deters or contributes to their interest in entrepreneurship, and how it could ultimately inform best practice. I am being funded by the Leeds International Research Scholarship (LIRS).


Sylvia studied piano performance firstly at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, then completing her Masters with distinction at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. After a few years of teaching piano, Sylvia decided to pursue studies in Music Psychology and was accepted onto the MSc Performance Science course at the Royal College of Music in London. Having completed the course with distinction, Sylvia was able to secure funding to embark on her PhD here at Leeds.

Research Interests

  • Music Higher Education
  • Entrepreneurship Education for Music students
  • The Process of behavioural change
  • Educational Psychology
  • Critical Realism

Research Projects & Grants


  • Leeds International Research Scholarship

Conference awards:

  • SEMPRE – paper presentation at SEMPRE Conference on Music and Health 2015
  • Leeds for Life – paper and panel presentations at the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry 2017
  • SEMPRE – poster presentation at SEMPRE Musical Cultures 2017
  • SEMPRE – paper presentation at Entrepreneurship in Music Conference at the Norwegian Academy of Music

Research Centres & Groups

  • Music Psychology Group
  • Resonances: Qualitative Research Reading Group
  • RIXA seminar series
  • PRIA (Pedagogic Research in the Arts)


External Appointments

  • BAPAM Advocate 2015/2016
  • Coordinator – Resonances: Qualitative Research Reading Group and Conference
  • PhD Tutor – RIXA seminar series
  • Research assistant – Project: Becoming a Leeds Graduate
  • PhD Tutor – The Brilliant Club
  • Intern – PRIA





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